Napoli goal-keeper Reina has hinted that Rafael Benitez’s team-talk will draw upon Liverpool’s legendary night in 2005…
Pepe Reina has implied that Rafael Benitez will use the Instanbul Spirit to haunt Arsenal as Napoli chase a 3-0 victory at the Stadio San Paolo this evening, December 11, in the final group game of the Champions League.
In one of the most memorable matches in the modern European Cup era, Liverpool dropped three goals in a single half to a peak-form AC Milan under the influence of a goal-happy Hernan Crespo and the leadership of Italy legend Paolo Maldini at Ataturk Olympic Stadium on May 25, 2005.
An inspired Rafael Benitez half-time team-talk, though, saw Steven Gerrard guide a miraculous comeback, as strikes from himself, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso restored parity until a penalty death shoot-out, which the Anfield side prevailed in.
The mandatory requirement to score three is once again something Benitez needs to achieve in order to guarantee their progression into the latter stages of the competition and goalkeeper Reina has hinted that past history is something Rafa will use in the dressing-room: ‘Rafa has worked on a game plan – and our example is easy!’ He is quoted to have said by the Daily Star.
‘The final between AC Milan and Liverpool is the example to follow. It showed that anything is possible,’ he added, before touching on how the noise generated by passionate Partenopei supporters will help their cause: ‘The atmosphere in our stadium will be worth a goal in itself. After that it’s up to us as players to give everything on the pitch.’
image: © Eric The Fish (2013)